In case you missed it, this morning's Star has a lengthy article on Democratic unity at the convention. It's an interesting read on it's own, but I just thought I'd highlight the appearance by our very own Jerame, who has been reporting regularly from Denver:
Jerame Davis, a 33-year-old Indianapolis information technology consultant, tossed his Clinton T-shirt into his luggage when he headed to the convention. But when he takes his seat with the Indiana delegation, he said, it likely will stay in his suitcase.
Monday, he was wearing an Obama button.
He was among many Clinton supporters who said they felt she had more experience and better policies on such issues as health care, and had earned the nomination. But he also wants to make sure a Democrat wins the White House. That means working now to help elect Obama.
I think Jerame's approach is the correct one on a number of different levels. First, it seems like it's prioritizing what's absolutely important here for Democrats (and the country): Getting a democrat, whoever that Democrat may be, elected President. Second, it recognizes that all Democrats can feel regret or sadness that their desired candidate didn't prevail and still be willing to do what it takes to make sure Obama wins the election.
I'll dissect the rest of the article after the jump.
You'd think that if the anti-Obama sentiment is as strong as the article suggests -- 30% will sit on their hands or cast their vote for McCain! -- the article could at least find someone, anyone who actually planned not to vote for Obama. That isn't the case. As best I can tell, all the Clinton supporters interviewed are of virtually an identical mindset: too bad it's not Clinton, but I'll still support Obama. Huh. Now why do you suppose that is?
Well, I'll hazard a guess. Remember that in 2004, John Kerry won just 89% of self-identifying Democrats, with Bush pulling in the other 11%. The poll the article cites suggests that 14% of Clinton supporters will vote for McCain, while 16% are undecided. I'm not terribly worried about the undecided camp -- my guess is that they'll mostly come home. Consider as well that Clinton supporters make up only roughly half of the Democratic electorate. So it seems that even with the level of "disunity" being piped about by the press, Obama could easily match or exceed John Kerry's performance with Democratic voters even if he doesn't radically improve in standing amongst Clinton voters.
Now, obviously, the aforementioned he's-not-my-first-choice-but-I'll-take-him attitude isn't ideal. You'd prefer people to be absolutely enthused about your candidate. But if that's the concern, the polling tells us McCain has way more to be worried about. Why isn't the media reporting that? Your guess is as good as mine.
Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure that people who fall into the camp of not-enthused Obama supporters probably won't appreciate learning from Rep. Brown that their hesitancy is racism. Something tells me that's not a winning strategy.
We also get this gem from Joanne Sanders:
"It's well past time for (Obama's campaign) to address the very different pay" for men and women, she said.
Now, I love Joanne, but this seems a bit ridiculous to lay at Obama's feet. She's correct that this is absolutely something that the next president should address and I'd be very happy if it were an actual priority. But the way this quotation is structured makes it sound like Hillary Clinton had a lot to say about this issue, whereas I can't remember a single time any mention of this issue came up from her camp. Frankly, I think it's a bit absurd to imply that Obama is "weak" on women's issues when his positions on women's issues are, as far as I can tell, virtually identical to the candidate Sanders prefers.